The African qualifiers for the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup, Costa Rica 2022 reaches the final lap, with Ghana and Ethiopia locking horns in a crucial battle at the Accra Sports Stadium in Accra on Sunday 27 March, 2022.
Dreaming of their first ever U20 Women’s World Cup debut, Ethiopia must bounce back from a 3-0 first leg loss, while Ghana will look to seal a sixth consecutive spot on the global stage.
The winner on aggregate will qualify for the U20 Women’s World Cup as the second African representative after Nigeria qualified in Benin City on Saturday, thrashing Senegal 7-2 on aggregate.
Head to Head Record
This would be the fourth meeting between these two nations. The previous three meetings had seen the Ghanaians claim two [2-0 and 3-0] wins while the other game ended in a [2-2] draw. This time around, it’s a final battle to secure the second ticket to the international youth tournament.
- U20WWCQ 2015: Ethiopia 2-2 Ghana
- U20WWCQ 2015: Ghana 2-0 Ethiopia
- U20WWCQ 2022: Ethiopia 0-3 Ghana
Players to Watch
Bagabaga Ladies striker Salamatu Abdulai will be one of the stars to look out for after grabbing a brace in the first leg in Abebe Bikila Stadium. Beside Abdulai, Jafaru Rahama and Doris Boaduwaa, who helped Hasaacas Ladies to a TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League vice-champions, are likely to feature in the fixture. On the other hand, the Ethiopians will be counting on the avaliability of Araiet Odong, Turist Lemma and Mesay Temesgen in Accra. With two goals each in the competition, the trio can cause trouble for the Black Princesses.
Injury or Absences
Ghana will still be forced to make do without captain Evelyn Badu and Perpetual Agyekum, who are enjoying their debut seasons in Norway after missing the first leg in Addis Ababa. Both will be key absentees for the Ghanaians.
For the East Africans, they will again miss the services of the tournament’s topscorer Rediet Assresahagn with seven goals after she was absent from the first leg due to injury.
WHAT THEY SAID
Ben Forkuo [U20 women’s head coach, Ghana]
‘’I feel happy because for years now, the Princesses have been qualifying to the World Cup and this won’t be any different. We are happy to make history again [on Sunday]. The Players and Technical team are ready for the game. We thank the Ghana Football Association and the Government for their support throughout the qualifying campaign. We urge all Ghanaians to come to support us for the last hurdle to make it to Costa Rica.”
Firew Hailegebral [U20 women’s head coach, Ethiopia]
“I will repeat it, we didn’t fail and they haven’t passed. During our 14 days, we tried to prepare well, the defeat made us think we could do more. We lost 3-0, but this is not the final result. I explained to my players the process of reversing the result. Football has it’s up and downs moment big teams also concede goals, we have to recover quickly and back on track to victory. I have talked with my players about the possibility of changing the result, we have completed our good preparation for the trip to Ghana. Our players have never been here as only some of them are experienced. The goal we conceded was not to be taken lightly, we were making mistakes. Our team had better opportunities and were better at creating chances, but they [Ghana] were better at taking them.”